Looking back at my teenage self, I sometimes wish I had a fairy godmother to tell me that someday life would be worth living. Perhaps then I would have enjoyed the freedom and the independence that comes with being fifteen. My days were spent skipping class and dodging the head of the attendance office, and my nights were jam packed with dance classes, student teaching, and company rehearsals. It was as if I were two different people living in the same body. An insubordinate by day and a compliant student by night. Truth is, I hated school and I was bad at it. I had only a small handful of kids that I hung out with, some of which I met through my older brother. I just didn’t have anything in common with these people, and I am pretty sure that they all thought I was a weirdo. At dance, once I stepped into that classroom my whole awful day would just disappear. I was free to express myself, encompass a role I was portraying or just get lost in the music.
“He was the first human who ever understood me, and I felt safe for the first time.”
Eventually, the school staff figured out that the only thing I really cared about was dancing. So they found me a program where I could go and expand upon my dance knowledge after I took my core classes. It was a preforming arts high school and it was spectacular. For the first time in my life I was surrounded by people who were just as weird and quirky as I was. It was there that I met my soulmate. He was a music major and two and a half years younger than I. It took him a total of four weeks to convince me that we should be dating. After that we were inseparable. I remember telling friends that he was the male version of me. He was the first human who ever understood me, and I felt safe for the first time.
I never dated anyone like him before. Not at all like a typical high school guy. It was easy to just be myself, and somehow he thought that was amazing. He was caring, sensitive, passionate, and sweet. Always more concerned for the people around him than himself. We would spend our lunchtime daydreaming about our future and all the places we could visit when we were older. I enjoyed his creativity. I looked forward to the hours I spent listening to him play the piano, and he would watch me rehearse whenever he had the chance. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I was blessed that his path crossed mine. There are not enough words in the English language to describe the breathtaking bond that we shared. It was a grownup kind of love not meant for teenagers.
“She was whom I fell in love with. The only person in my life to ever truly understand the little me inside.”
If you haven’t already figured it out, “he” was my wife, and as crazy as it might sound, I fall more in love with her every passing day. Somewhere in the depths of my brain I have always loved her for the beautifully brilliant woman that she is. It has taken me all these years and her transition to realize that it was always her. She was the light behind those eyes that I could see but couldn’t always reach. All wrapped up in the wrong package, my heart, saw her heart for whom she really was. She was the melody in our song. She was whom I fell in love with. The only person in my life to ever truly understand the little me inside.
Once upon a time in the eighties, I fell in love with the girl, inside of the boy, who was too scared to come out. My heart knew what my eyes hadn’t seen yet. Now all these years later, her outside is as lovely as her inside always was. I have told her before that I believe that our souls have been together and in love for a millennium, and somehow they always manage to find each other. Transition is not an easy journey for any of us, and you never know where it will take you. However, I am glad for its lessons, and to always have my wife by my side.